With homes still flooded, residents in Cagayan brace anew for ‘Sarah’

Aileen Cerrudo

Residents of Cagayan province remain restless after Typhoon Ramon made landfall in the area during the early hours of Wednesday (November 20).

Typhoon Ramon still brought heavy rainfall and strong winds which left several areas in the province submerged in flood. Among the villages affected are barangays Sta. Ana and Gonzaga.

READ: Tropical cyclones ‘Ramon’ and ‘Sarah’ barrel through parts of Cagayan

Merlinda Doblado is among the residents who had to stay awake to monitor the flood.

“Hindi na nga kami pinatulog kasi inaabangan namin iyong pagtaas ng tubig, kasi biglaan (We did not sleep because we were monitoring the flood, it went up too fast),” she said.

Evelyn, another resident recalled they had to cut their dinner short, they did not expect that the flood would increase that fast.

“Tumaas bigla iyong tubig, iniwan namin iyong pagkain diyan sa lamesa. Dali-dali naming binuhat iyong mga gamit at dinala sa mataas (The water suddenly rose, we left the food on the table and took our things upstairs),” she said.

Meanwhile, barangay chairman of Tapel, Gonzaga Danilo Domingo said they had to conduct another evacuation for the resident who already evacuated their homes due to the flood.

“Pagbalik ko dito sa may simbahan hanggang bewang na iyong baha kaya tumawag ako sa MDRRMO [Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office] for rescue nagpadala naman kaagad sila ng truck para i-rescue mga evacuees (When I returned to the church, the flood was already waist deep so I called the MDRRMO for rescue. They immediately sent a truck to rescue the evacuees),” he said.

Aside from homes, several rice fields in the area are also flooded. There are also roads and bridges that were closed to motorists due to landslides and the increase of water level in rivers.

Power cuts were also experienced in Sta. Ana, Gonzaga, Sta. Teresita, Sanchez Mira, Lallo, Appari, and Abulug.

According to the latest report of the Cagayan Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO), 2,824 families were evacuated.

The PDRRMO also said there were no reports of missing individuals or casualties during the storm. Some of the evacuated families were already allowed to return to their homes.

Marlene Campano and her family are among those who can return home. But she still fears for their safety, especially with another looming storm.

“Umuwi kami. Maawa nalang sa amin ang Panginoon, Dios na po ang bahala (We went home. We leave the rest to God, may God have mercy on us),” she said.

Authorities call on the residents to prepare for possible devastation as tropical depression Sarah intensifies into a tropical storm.—AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)

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